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2010-04-28 15:17:49
Browne, Thomas
Religio Medici. The sixth edition, corrected and amended. With Annnotations Never before published, upon all the obscure passages therein. Also Observations by sir Kenelm Digby, Newly added
1605-1682 Octavo, 6 x 3.75 inches. Fifth edition. A,A-T8, A-E8. Engraved frontispiece by William Marshall. This copy is bound in later smooth calf, gilt ruled edges, all edges gilt. gilt spine with a red. leather label. Hand marbled endsheets, gilt dentelles, quite a nice copy. It is far from clear that Thomas Browne ever considered publishing Religio Medici, his first and most influential work. Written during his medical apprenticeship in the mid-1630s, this essay on the religion of a doctor was (in typical fashion) circulated in multiple manuscripts among friends for seven years until 1642, when Andrew Crooke, an enterprising publisher of controversialist writing, obtained it and printed it anonymously, without the author's permission or knowledge. What Browne would later describe as "a private exercise directed to myself" was an immediate commercial success, and Crooke quickly brought out a second edition. Browne, meanwhile, had wind of a work about to be published by the colourful savant Sir Kenelm Digby, apparently responding to Browne's essay. He immediately set about revising the pirated text for authorised publication in 1643. Together with Digby's Observations upon Religio Medici, the 1643 edition, now with Browne's name on it, established his reputation in English and Continental writing. Religio Medici has been described as spiritual autobiography, but it has in fact only occasional resemblance to the true seventeenth-century exponents of the form like Lucy Hutchinson and John Aubrey. Although Browne's subject is his own beliefs, the essay is better understood a … [Click Below for Full Description]
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